Back To School

Good morning!

It’s almost that time again! Time to go back to school for the fall semester.  Time for back to school shopping.  This year the average family is expected to spend $ 634.78 per family for K-12 children, according to the National Retail Federation.  This estimate is down from last year. This amount includes apparel, accessories,  electronics, books, and school supplies.

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What’s your favorite part about back to school shopping?

I always loved getting new school  supplies!  Picking out the colors of each spiral notebook. The smell of a new eraser! Freshly sharpened No. 2 pencils! (They must remain sharp at all times!) College lined notebook paper!  (I have always written extremely small.) And you already know about my love affair with crayons! ♡

As I got older and had children of my own, I found it much less stressful to purchase the pre-packaged supplies that were put together grade appropriate and sold by the school’s Parent Teacher Association.  It was a win win. It gave them funding for their organization and kept me out of the long lines at Wal-Mart and Target rushing around with list in hand to find all the items needed.

And speaking of supplies, did you know that God will supply ALL.of your needs?  Not just in August when its time to go back to school.

Is there something in your life you are missing? Love? Peace?  Joy? Patience? Wisdom? Money for little Susie’s braces? A car that runs? Better health? College funding? Healing over a broken relationship or addiction?

No matter what it is, big or small, God cares. He’s all about the details.  He created you. He knows the number of hairs on your head, days in your life. Take it to Him in prayer, and watch Him work out the details.  Sometimes He may close a door you thought He had opened only to find He has something better for you in a different direction.

I encourage you today to take a moment and take an inventory over what needs you currently have in your own life.  Then spend some time with God. Thank Him for loving you enough to care. Praise Him for who He is! The one and only powerful I Am! Then humbly ask Him for the desires of your heart. Just like a small child would ask their parent for that toy or that teenager would ask their parent for the keys to the car. Rest in that intimate moment spent in your Father’s care. It’s safe. It’s right where God wants you. And it’s even better than a new box of 64 crayons! 🙂

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Love and laughter,

Sandy

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Out With The Old, In With The New

Good morning!

Today is the beginning of a new journey for me!  I just walked away from my last night shift as a full time cardiac monitor technician in the PICU in the Children’s Hospital at St. Francis.

Good bye nights working in healthcare!  Hello days working in education!

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I’m ready for a change in my life. Something where I interact with real people rather than computer monitors, where I can possibly walk away each day feeling like I touched a life rather than a mouse or keyboard.  Where I hear children’s laughter rather than children’s alarms.
And a normal routine.
And sleep! 🙂
It’s true. I’m tired.
I’m tired FROM working nights.
But I’m mostly tired OF being a bystander in life. Watching it pass me by as I passively acclimate to whatever my current circumstances offer me. No more!  This girl is no longer going to sit back and watch. No more “monitoring” for me. I’m going to jump right in and live life hands on!

How about you?  Do you long for any changes in your life?  Is there anything in your life where you are experiencing a new beginning?

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to name it and claim it! God’s Word in Job tells me though my beginning was small, my latter days will be very great!  I can’t wait!!! The best is yet to come!

The best is yet to come for all us believers. That’s the security badge I can’t wait to put on, the one that grants me access into heaven. Through the Pearly Gates. Access onto the streets of gold. And no time clock necessary. There will be no badging out!  We will once and for all, eternally be home!

To all my fellow PICU and St. Francis friends, those presently working there or those whose lives have crossed my path in days past, thank you for touching my life with your caring hearts. ♡ Please stay in touch. I love you all for who you are and what you do! I have so enjoyed working with such a great group of people that every day save lives.  What you don’t realize is, as I sit behind the scenes and watch our kids, I am watching you, too, at work. You are phenomenal at what you do. You truly make a difference in this world by making a difference in the lives of our children.  Just think, we will be working together again in the kingdom of God for eternity.  Now that’s a benefit package you can’t refuse! 🙂

And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great.
Job 8:7

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Extra! Extra!

Good morning!

We all have those things in life we just can’t live without. Or so we think. So much we’d even pay extra for them.

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Take your home for example. Granite counter tops. Stainless steel appliances. Kitchen islands. Hardwood floors. Walk-in closets. All extras.

Your car. Heated seats. GPS. Rear view camera. Again extras.

Your food. Cheese. Bacon. Sour cream. Extra shot.  More extras.

Your travels. Checked bag. Early check-in. Frequent Flyer’s Club.

All those extras add up.

What in life would you be willing to pay extra to have?

For me I would have to presently say it would be for internet service. I hate to admit it, but I’m kind of addicted to my cell phone. I was a late bloomer when it came to owning a smart phone. But trust me, I’ve made up for lost time! I start my day writing my blog on it. I use it to shop for most everything but groceries.  I read the news on it. I read books on it. I read daily devotionals on my YouVersion app. I watch online church on it. I applied for and got my new  job on it. I listen to music on it. I watch youtubes on it. I make appointments on it. I pay bills on it. I Google everything under the sun that I don’t know on it. I send Facebook messages and posts on it. And I do all of that because I have the internet. Without it my phone is a limited piece of metal and glass.

BUT!  It is NOT the one thing I can’t live without! It’s a creature comfort of this world that I make good use of, but I CAN live without it.

What I can’t live without is Jesus and God’s Word to instruct me.  Without those things I truly can’t live! All the wealth in the world to buy those extras in life wouldn’t compare to the extras you get through Jesus. I choose the extras that matter.  The ones that have already been paid for by Jesus with His life.  I hope you will as well. 🙂

Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death“ Proverbs 11:4

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Earthquake!

Good morning!

Yesterday afternoon I experienced my first Oklahoma earthquake!

Earthquakes have become fairly frequent Oklahoma drop in guests the past several years.  I just have never seemed to have been in the right place at the right time to experience one firsthand before now. This time I did.

It was an earthquake with magnitude 4.5.  It occurred near Crescent, OK at 1:18 p.m.,  but I definitely felt it in Tulsa.

I work nights, so I happened to be lying in bed perfectly still, but awake at 1:18 p.m. when it occurred.   It startled me.  The bed jarred rather abruptly.   I thought the dog had jumped up on it. No dog. No nothing. But an eerie feeling that I’d just experienced an earthquake. Or a ghost. I’ll go with the earthquake.  🙂

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The Oklahoma Geological Survey has determined that “the majority of recent earthquakes in central and north-central Oklahoma are very likely triggered by the injection of produced water in disposal wells”. Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” incites man-made seismic events.

This earthquake map can better illustrate it. The waste water disposal wells are depicted in purple in the above map. The 2015 year to date earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 and higher are depicted in orange. See any correlation?

Man-made seismic activities.  Hmmmm. That’s interesting. Could man’s evil, ungodly, or greedy ways be  part of the beginning of the birth pangs that Mark speaks about? Earthquakes are predicted in end times. Our earthquake frequency has increased dramatically here in Oklahoma.   We have even surpassed California to take the lead as the state with the most tremors.

If the thought of earthquakes alarms you, you might think again about end times. Now that is much more alarming to me. That’s not an area where I want to fall in any crack. Let’s all instead be jarred by Jesus! Out of complacency. Into the light  Where we’ll find our firm foundation in shaky ground.

“For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
Mark 13:8

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Tango With A Mango

Good morning!

One of my favorite tropical fruits is the mango. With a little freshly squeezed lime juice added. Yum!

Mangoes are a stone fruit and are known for not being the easiest fruit to peel. There is an art to it.  It is learned. Kind of like the Tango.

The mango seed resembles something more like a bone than a pit or seed. It is fairly large in proportion to the fruit itself.  Although, you can plant them and grow your own tree. I find it easiest to cube it when I am cutting it.  Or better yet, purchase it already prepared in a Jamba Juice Mango-A-Go-Go Smoothie.:)

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Even though mangoes are my favorite fruit, I still enjoy eating a variety of fresh fruits. Especially when they are in season. You can’t beat Porter peaches and Stillwell strawberries. And picking your own bluberries at Thunderbird Berry Farm. I love frozen grapes! Bananas are a constant staple in my kitchen.

But the very best fruit of all doesn’t come from the market.  It’s straight from the Lord. The Fruit of the Spirit.  It’s a great barometer of whether or not we are bearing spiritual fruit or better stated becoming more like Jesus.

How’s your fruit?  Plentiful or sparce?
If you’re not feeling your daily minimum requirements,  I’d suggest a little time in the Word and prayer.  Best fertilizer there is!

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

Love and laughter,

Sandy

The Best Advice I Ever Got

Good morning!

Advice.
We all could use it. Good advice that is.  But most of us are much quicker to offer it than to take it.

Sometimes there are times where sage advice is given that can be life changing!  Which college to attend.  What to major in. Help to stop a vice. Family over career. A great stock pick.

How about you? What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

For me, I remember it well.  It was seventh grade church camp.  The advice was to give our lives to Jesus. I did!

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Best advice I ever got!

Sometimes we rush through life full throttle and don’t stop and ask directions.  For good sound advice.

Sometimes that’s exhilarating.  It grants us a sense of being in control of our own destiny.

But if you look at the success of any large corporation, it takes many advisers to make it operate successfully.

We are not in control of our own destiny.   God is.  We may temporarily take it into our own hands, but it’s final outcome lies with Jesus.

Some of the best advice there is can be found in The Holy Bible. It covers every subject under The Son. 🙂 Let’s pick it up today.  It truly will be life changing.

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
Proverbs 15:22

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?

Good morning!

I joined seven other people for dinner Thursday night at Los Cabos. They were old friends and their significant others that I had gone to junior high school with just a few short years ago. LOL

We had the best time catching up and reminiscing of days gone by while at the same time bringing each other up to speed on our current life accomplishments. The only interruption to the conversations was the steady flow of baskets of chips and fresh salsa and margaritas and cervezas. We spoke about baseball and children and grandchildren and jobs and weddings and divorces and the current local quintuple murder tragedy.

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If you could invite seven people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite?

Here’s my list.  🙂

1.  Helen Keller
(because she’s a miracle)
2.  Mother Teresa
(because she’s God’s hands and                feet)                                                                        3.  Princess Diana
(because she’s one of the most beloved icons )
4.  My mother
(because I miss her and I never said goodbye)
5.  My Aunt Barb
(because she’d want to see my mother as well and would love my choices too)
6.  Jesus
(because He’s my Savior)
7.  Andrea Bocelli
(because he’s a superstar tenor )
8.  Beth Moore
(because she’s a best selling author and public speaker in women’s ministries)

I would be so captivated by such a gifted repertoire that I know I wouldn’t be able to eat a bite! I would definitely be a Mary lost in conversation at Jesus’ feet instead of the meal preparations at hand.. And I know that’s okay. Jesus favors the relationship over the meal itself. And what would I serve anyway or where would we go? That would most definitely be one great supper!

Speaking of which. Let’s not forget the Parable of the Great Supper. The rejection of Christ by His chosen Jewish people has opened the door of salvation to the Gentiles. I, for one, am very thankful for that, being a Gentile.  🙂 The blessings of the kingdom of God are available to all who come to Christ by faith.

I encourage each of you to join me in sitting at Jesus’ feet, inviting Him to dine with you each and every day.  Just imagine the peace, the wisdom, the food for thought you could digest!

The Parable of the Great Supper
15 Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread[a] in the kingdom of God!”
16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many,17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’23 Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’”
Luke 14:15-24

Love and laughter,

Sandy